TIPS ON BUILDING MENTAL RESILIENCE
(1) Focus Your Attention
Become acutely aware of your thoughts, the media you are consuming, the conversations you are having, where your energy is flowing, and what you are doing with your time. Take a moment to look at how these areas are truly making you feel. It is only when you start to tap into awareness of your feelings, that you can help to change them, and help control your life that is best for you. Learning to become more ‘aware’ can be practiced in a daily ritual like meditation, reflection, journaling, or gratitude. The more you do this, the more it gives your mind a chance to “breathe”. Over time you will become more calm and rational in any situation. You will also understand who, and what actually makes you truly happy, and this in-turn will naturally direct your life in that way.
(2) The Meaningful Goal
If you have written down a list of all of the things you want to achieve in isolation, then re-read this, and find the one ‘biggish’ goal that is truly the most important to you. By ‘biggish’ we mean the one that would be a stretch for you to achieve. It is also the goal that you would be the most disappointed in yourself for not reaching or finishing. Then focus on this one goal only. Forget the rest. Put all your energy into that one goal. By the end of the month, trust us, you will feel a different sense of meaningful accomplishment and contentment. Having one big thing to focus for a period of time, that you put all of your effort into, gives you a sense of purpose and control. This helps when our world right now is unsettled and feels uncontrollable. Focus on one big goal each month.
(3) Stretch + Breathe
It does feel difficult to accept that we will be housebound for an unconfirmed time right now. But when you start a new beneficial habit, your body and mind adapts quickly to it. This is an opportunity to move your body in a different way than you usually would in the more confined space you have. If you study a dog, you will notice they typically always stretch when they get up from sleeping (hence the downward dog pose in yoga). This stretching is incredibly beneficial to your body. Stretching leads to reduced muscle tension, increased circulation of the blood to various parts of the body, and increased energy levels. Start stretching for at least 2-3 minutes a day. Do it slowly, warm your body up, slow it down and tap into the awareness of your body and how it moves. Be aware of your body, each muscle, your skin. Lengthen your body, and hold its pose strongly. Take long breaths in and out when you do this. Stretching movements to the body will lead to new thoughts and feelings - for the better.
(4) Feeding your body at a cellular level
The mind and body are undeniably interconnected. If you fuel yourself with food that is low in nutrition then your body (and mind) will respond in a negative way. By eating a diet of mainly unprocessed foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and including herbs such as adaptogens it will assist the body's natural processes to function optimally and combat the effects of stress. Vitamin B supplements are also great to take, as they are essential to your nervous system and immune system, and these vitamins are hard to obtain in the correct amounts we need from food. When our bodies are functioning at their best we enjoy the benefits of feeling energised, clear headed, grounded, and with much more capacity to deal with whatever life throws at us. We become more resilient in the body and mind.
(5) Long Lost Friends
At a time when you cannot connect physically to people, take the opportunity to get in touch with people you haven't spoken to in a while. Comment or like their social media posts, send them a message, call them. Reconnect with someone you have lost touch with. Having conversations with people outside of our usual group is healthy, rewarding, and engaging. Nothing beats having a great conversation and laughing with someone you used to spend a lot of time with. Have deeper, more meaningful conversations - being heard is an essential need that all humans require to thrive. Keep the connections flowing and growing.